Church gets boost with initial pledge for funding

Rev Graham Steel and John Clarke at Fleggburgh Church that has recieved support for a herritage lott

Rev Graham Steel and John Clarke at Fleggburgh Church that has recieved support for a herritage lottery funded project to re-thatch the church roof and undertake other improvements. - Credit: Nick Butcher

A historic village church has received a boost with initial backing to fund a £270,000 project for redevelopment.

St Margaret's Church in Fleggburgh was placed on the English Heritage buildings at risk register earlier this year.

However, it has now been announced the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) has given initial support for its re-thatching.

The church is looking to put together £270,000 to rethatch the nave and chancel roofs of the building, install drain pipes and gutters, improve drainage around the base of the church, and potentially some work on the stone walls.

The HLF has given a first round pass to the project and believes the project has potential to deliver high quality benefits and value for Lottery money.

The application was in competition with other supportable projects, but now having been awarded a first round pass, the project has now up to one year to submit fully developed proposals to compete for a firm award.

John Clarke, the project coordinator and PCC member said 'We're delighted the Heritage Lottery Fund has given us their support, it is great to know we are a step closer to preserving this rural church for the local community into the 21st century.'

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The church is grade II listed, and dating from the 14th century with parts from 11th century Norman period, is one of only 53 thatched churches in Norfolk.

The project will also carry out essential conservation work including repairing parapets and buttresses under the roof and potentially improving the internal walls inside the building.

The local community will also get involved in the work, with a range of heritage activities including the training of a bell ringing team, and a planned educational programme with the village primary school.